People in Bara are terrified whenever they see clouds
BARA, April 8: Krishna Sah, 35, of Kalaiya Sub-metropolitan city lost his home to the first ever tornado recorded in Nepal that struck the central part of the southern plains of the nation on March 31. Since then, he has been reduced to spending his nights in the meager segment of the shed originally built for his livestock. With him, his livestock and the relief materials he has received from various agencies cover a majority of the shed.
With the Meteorological Forecasting Division's preliminary prediction that more windstorms are likely to hit the central Terai for three days, he has been living in the constant fear if another tornado will strike his home area and render him without a shelter.
“Since there is a constant fear of heavy rainfall accompanied by a hailstorm, I decided to share the shed with the livestock rather than live in the tarpaulin squatters,” he told Republica, “Now, I am afraid if even the shed will stand the forecast storms.”
The residents of numerous villages in the district that were affected by the tornado on March 31 share similar plights. Some of the villagers have even claimed that they are frightened when they see clouds looming overhead. After three days of worsening weather followed by a rainfall starting on Sunday, they have been terrified by the fact that much hardship could still await them.
A local of Mahagadimai Municipality, Jagadish Prasad Yadav claimed that it is the fear of another probable disaster that caused him to choose to stay in the cowshed rather than the tarpaulin homes. “There is no place to hide if another disaster strikes,” he said, “The possibility of another windstorm as well as hailstorm has wreaked havoc on our mindset.”
The children who were displaced by the windstorm have been traumatized by the possibility of another such disaster. Gagandev Ram of Subarna Rural Municipality said that his three children Ritesh Ram, 2, Nitesh Ram, 4, and Ragini Kumari Ram, 6, are terrified even when there is light wind and have even been waking in the nights with fits of fright.
Another local of Subarna Rural Municipality, Lori Prasad Yadav said that his five offsprings have shown signs of mental illness in the aftermath of the tornado. His daughters Manisha Kumari, 11, Manita Kumari, 9, Arati Kumari, 7, Mamata Kumari 5, and Mahima Kumari, 3, have been frightened by the storm and they even cry in their sleep sometimes.
Most of the villagers in the disaster-hit zone have been using the sheds originally built for their cattle to store their relief materials including food. “It is great that a significant number of people have been reaching out to us to provide relief materials but we do not even have the space to keep the relief materials,” Sah said.
“The food materials are rendered inedible within a day of being kept in the sheds,” Yadav said, “However, we have to keep on living in the sheds as they are the better option than the makeshift tarpaulin houses.” He added that most of the food materials have started to decay after days of rainfall.
Local representatives from the disaster zone have complained that most of the villages in the district have been left without support since the relief operations were centered on Feta. “The sufferings of the villagers in other parts of the district are even worse as all the attention has been diverted to Feta,” chairperson of Subarna Rural Municipality-7, Mukesh Singh, said, “In Subarna Rural Municipality alone, more than 300 people were left homeless by the windstorm but there is no sign of relief operation from the government for them.”
He added that the only relief programs in operation in the rural municipality have been the group food program run by the rural municipality to feed the victims of the disaster and some tarpaulins provided by the Red Cross.